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Bee Monitoring 2020

WHS Restore: Habitat Bee Monitoring
Green Steps students kicked off the semester by learning about the bees in the observation hive, specifically how to monitor the hive for varroa mites. Students were introduced to the varroa through a traditional note session (sample of the notes) and then on to the library to the DO part of this project which also involved learning how to:
identify mites on bees (unfortunately we found one)
how to collect the bee tape 
how to replace the bee tape
how to process the bee tape once back in the classroom using a microscope  
where to store the processed tape
As an additional part of the learning process, students worked individually to research more details about the lifecycle of the honeybee, the lifecycle of varroa mite and treatments to control and treat mite outbreaks. These would eventually become part of the "teach" part of this project.

The “do” part of this project happened daily. A lucky group of students went to the library to collect and replace the tape on the underside of the observation hive. The tape removal procedure is featured in the attachment below in a series of pictures.

Groups of students analyzed the bee tape to see if there are any mites to be seen. Once analyzed, students would write the date and the amount of varroa mites found for the day on the tape and put it in a bag for safe keeping. Every two- or three-weeks students would reanalyze the bee tapes and make changes if mistakes were found. We kept a running spreadsheet that we shared with our entire district. Almost all schools in our district are monitoring for varroa mite infestations in their observation hives. As you can see, our varroa mite population was manageable! Much better than last year. Our treatments and monitoring seem to have a positive effect.

Our bees are in the library and our library gets a lot of traffic. We decided to post up information about our bees and what they are dealing with at all of the library tables. Students were instructed to keep the information simple but with a good hook. Click on the attachment below to see some of their finished products.

Jeanne Craig,
Apr 29, 2020, 6:49 AM